Detection of pelagic habitat hotspots for skipjack tuna in the Gulf of Bone-Flores Sea, southwestern Coral Triangle tuna, Indonesia

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Abstract

© 2017 Zainuddin et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Using remote sensing of sea surface temperature (SST), sea surface height anomaly (SSHA) and chlorophyll-a (Chl-a) together with catch data, we investigated the detection and persistence of important pelagic habitat hotspots for skipjack tuna in the Gulf of Bone-Flores Sea, Indonesia. We analyzed the data for the period between the northwest and southeast monsoon 2007–2011. A pelagic hotspot index was constructed from a model of multi-spectrum satellite-based oceanographic data in relation to skipjack fishing performance. Results showed that skipjack catch per unit efforts (CPUEs) increased significantly in areas of highest pelagic hotspot indices. The distribution and dynamics of habitat hotspots were detected by the synoptic measurements of SST, SSHA and Chl-a ranging from 29.5° to 31.5°C, from 2.5 to 12.5 cm and from 0.15 to 0.35 mg m-3, respectively. Total area of hotspots consistently peaked in May. Validation of skipjack CPUE predicted by our model against observed data from 2012 was highly significant. The key pelagic habitat corresponded with the Chl-a front, which could be related to the areas of relatively high prey abundance (enhanced feeding opportunity) for skipjack. We found that the area and persistence of the potential skipjack habitat hotspots for the 5 years were clearly identified by the 0.2 mg m-3 Chl-a isopleth, suggesting that the Chl-a front provides a key oceanographic indicator for global understanding on skipjack tuna habitat hotspots in the western tropical Pacific Ocean, especially within Coral Triangle tuna.

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Zainuddin, M., Farhum, A., Safruddin, S., Selamat, M. B., Sudirman, S., Nurdin, N., … Saitoh, S. I. (2017). Detection of pelagic habitat hotspots for skipjack tuna in the Gulf of Bone-Flores Sea, southwestern Coral Triangle tuna, Indonesia. PLoS ONE, 12(10). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0185601

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